build it better: oatmeal


Oatmeal is often a breakfast staple this time of year and for good reason. It fills you up, keeps you warm, and for me, is definitely associated with chilly winter mornings as a child.  I have to admit, since moving to a warmer climate, I haven’t had oatmeal as often this “winter” but it is still something I eat on a regular basis.

Oats are a healthy option for breakfast because they contain fiber (both soluble and insoluble), protein, are 100% whole grain and contain a whole slew of minerals.

Picking the Oats:

  • Steel-cut oats are best  – they are the whole oat groat which is then cut in pieces instead of flattened meaning it takes longer to digest which helps you feel full longer. They are essentially the least processed form of oats and are sometimes called Irish Oats. They do take longer to cook, but result in a chewy oat.
  • Rolled, Quick or Instant Oats are also good choices.
  • Instead of using the flavored packets which contain hydrogenated oils, corn syrup and a ton of preservatives, try making your own and topping it as you like! You can even make a big batch to eat throughout the week.

Topping Ideas:

  • Nut Butter: Peanut, Almond, Cashew, etc.
  • Sweeteners: Maple Syrup, Honey, Agave, Brown Sugar, Stevia, etc.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, etc.
  • Fresh or Frozen Fruits
  • Shredded Coconut or Coconut Oil

Ways to Add Protein:

  • Nut Butters
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Egg
  • Protein Powder
  • Milk
Recipes to Try: 

What do you put in or on you oats? 

updates: blog & life

Originally, this update was going to be just blog-related, but you know, life somehow sneaks in there sometimes!

Blog Updates: 

2012 will bring a few changes to my site, and I’m really excited about them. I’ve been wanting to add a few new series and because most of my readers are looking for simple and healthy meal ideas and recipes, I’m going to move in that direction with some of my posts. I’ll also be adding more posts on how to easily incorporate healthy foods that you should be eating into your diet. Most people know what chia seeds are, but they have no idea why they are good for us and how to eat them. So…

New Series:

  • Add This: what, why and how you can add “the” food that you should be, into your diet!
  • Simple & Healthy: dinners that are nutritious, delicious, easy to make, and healthy! No fancy ingredients here, and not even so much recipes as dinner and meal ideas for busy people and busy young families.

I’ll be continuing with other fun recipes, daily eats, build it better posts and other random posts. As always, if there is something you want to see, let me know! I’m an email away:

Life Updates: 

We are loving LA! I can’t get enough of the sun, the food, the culture, the ocean, the laid-back style… should I keep going?

Here are a few bullet point thoughts:

  • Making friends is like dating. Seriously.
  • Working from home is not conducive to meeting people.
  • I’m currently working with French Meadow Bakery in sales, and a few other food companies, helping with store demos, etc. I thought I would love working from home, but I’m realizing that especially in a new city, I’m itching to get out of the house. I’m not sure what will happen next in my career path!
  • Food. Amazing.
  • Healthy people are everywhere – it can be inspiring sometimes and sometimes, well, makes me feel guilty.
  • Trying to figure out what to do next in life is exhausting.
  • I’ve been LOVING the Nutrition consulting work I’ve been doing – it makes me realize I went into the right field! (Which at times, I need reminding).
  • I still haven’t ordered wedding prints. (I seriously need to focus, sorry Mom)!

So there you have it. Blog, LA and life in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy the new series!

curry salt crusted kabocha squash

I think we may have found our new favorite neighborhood sushi joint. Which when you move to a new city, is a really big deal. You’ve got to have that one place in the neighborhood that you can really count on. We’ve tried a few here and there (still lots to explore) but I was introduced to one by a friend a few weeks ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. The fish is SO good, the prices are reasonable, and it is a tiny, cozy place.

Ok fine, I went twice in one day. (Yes, ridiculous).

The restaurant is called Yatai, on the Sunset strip and it is a Japanese Sushi & Tapas restaurant. So in addition to the typical rolls, they’ve got eggplant with miso sauce, goyza, seaweed salad and an amazing tempura pumpkin with curry salt. I’m convinced it is actually kabocha squash (the rind is green, you can eat it, and kabocha squash has its roots in Japan) but regardless, it is delicious. I had to make a version at home, naturally, so instead of frying it and serving it with the salt, I roasted it with a sweet curry salt. It was one of those recipes that I just knew would turn out well.

I was right. I came close to eating the whole squash in one sitting, but decided that wasn’t the best idea. I stopped myself after a third of it.

The salty/sweet/curry flavor is amazing on the sweet squash. It is delicious right out of the oven, or as I learned, at room temperature all afternoon. I warned you!


Curry Salt Crusted Kabocha Squash

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 medium kabocha squash
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut squash into 1 inch wide strips, removing seeds.

Stir together the sugar, curry powder and salt and layout on plate.

Toss squash pieces with olive oil until evenly coated.

Press the squash pieces into the curry salt mixture, coating both sides.

Roast squash for 40 minutes, flipping over after 20 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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daily eats: 2.1.12

Hey Guys!

February is here, can you believe it? Thank you for the amazing comments on my post from yesterday. I usually keep things pretty light here, but I guess I just wanted to share!


Coffee + Coconut Creamer in the dark. Always coffee, and always water in the morning.

 Breakfast: Smoothie. I feel a little bad showing you a smoothie with such an awful shade of color, but this apparently what happens when you mix spinach and blueberries. {3 cups spinach + almond milk + frozen blueberries + 1 cup greek yogurt}

Workout: My favorite lunch crunch workout! (1 hour intense circuit training) I asked Rob the trainer about exercises for a flat tummy and he told me all the things I didn’t want to hear!!! {intervals, exerting as much energy doing cardio as I do during class (a lot) and no walking, “you aren’t 80.” Wah!}

Lunch: I snacked on some veggies and hummus while I put everything else together. Did Trader Joe’s change their plain hummus recipe? It tasted different to me, but it had been a while.

The rest of lunch consisted of: a turkey burger smothered in caramelized onions + sauteed mixed greens (baby spinach, baby kale and baby chard) + sweet potato baked with coconut oil + raw sauerkraut on the side.

I have to tell you about two parts of my lunch that I’m a little obsessed with! Over the weekend, I was working in a HUGE Whole Foods so of course had to check out their extra-large selection. I found the Earthbound Farms “Power Greens” – a mix of baby kale, baby spinach and baby chard. All washed, ready to go and in a HUGE container. It must be new because it isn’t on their website yet. The other is a Raw Garlic Dill Pickle Kraut, by Farmhouse Culture. There were a few different varieites at the store, but I love pickles and kraut so it was the natural choice. It tastes like pickle kraut – genius!

I love both of these items so much, I might have to make the trek out to that Whole Foods again!

Snack: Tea + 1/2 Peanut Butter thinkThin bar.

I proceeded to eat the other half shortly after. :)

I wish I could say that I did something cool in the afternoon, like lay out at a pool, but I had a lot of work to do, so work I did!

Dinner: Tuna melts were on the menu and as much as I like them, every time I plan them for dinner, they end up not making the cut.

Instead, we decided to try out a near-by Dim Sum Restaurant, called Bao. I had a glass of wine and we shared lots of dim sum plates (dumplings, scallion pancakes, green beans, seaweed salad and more dumplings) – the pictures were horrible so I’ll spare you, but imagine the plate below, x a lot.

We’ll definitely visit Bao Dim Sum again soon, the food was great, they have all day happy hour at the bar and dim sum is the perfect excuse for my dumpling obsession. :)

Now I’m snacking on a few dried mango pieces and cringing while watching 127 Hours. Eek!