pumpkin & shrimp curry

I think my Madison friends will really enjoy this recipe. It is from L’Etoile Restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin. If you are from the area, you know what L’Etoile is and what it is all about.

L’Etoile is a restaurant that focuses on supporting local farmers and artisan producers and it just so happened that this recipe was featured in a recent Bon Appétit. I always get really excited when I’ve either been to or know of a restaurant that is featured in Bon Appétit or Food & Wine. It makes me feel like I kind of know about the food world. :)

The recipe sounded great – I love all things curry – and because L’Etoile has such a great reputation I figured it would be a good one. I switched a few things up in the recipe, mainly because I get frustrated when recipes call for 1/2 can of coconut milk or 3/4 cup broth. I don’t want to open it, use half and then throw the rest away! Right?

But the curry, oh this curry.

It was slightly sweet, really creamy and we loved the flavor. It is definitely a warming dish, perfect for fall and winter evenings.

I definitely wouldn’t skip the roasted squash, the texture was a welcome addition to the smooth curry. Since the curry itself didn’t really contain any veggies, I served it over brown rice and steamed green beans, but your favorite vegetable would work.


Pumpkin Curry

by Emily Dingmann (adapted from L’Etoile)

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Keywords: soup/stew entree gluten-free Indian fall winter

A twist on the standard curry and a great way to enjoy it in the fall or winter!

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 2 Tbsp butter or oil (I used ghee)
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 can pumpkin (make sure it is plain!)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup roasted squash, chopped
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • cilantro for garnish
  • brown rice and vegetable for serving


Heat oil in large pan.

Saute onions for about 10 minutes.

Add ginger and garlic and saute for about 1 minute.

Add pumpkin, stirring to combine.

Add coconut milk and seasonings.

Simmer for about 20 minutes, or longer.

Add squash and shrimp and heat until shrimp is hot.

Mix in lime juice and serve over brown rice and steamed vegetables.

Garnish with cilantro.

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thai mussels {from market to table}

We have done a very poor job of utilizing the LA Farmers’ Markets since moving here.

So last Thursday I decided that I wasn’t going to plan every single meal of next week like I normally do. I would go to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market (considered one of the best in LA) Sunday morning and make dinner out of our findings! Sadly, this is kind of my idea of living on the edge… ;)

The farmers’ market was amazing, and I now vow to visit more often. It was the perfect way to spend Sunday morning and I was able to buy all of the vegetables and fruit I needed for the week!

Soon after we started browsing (and people dodging/celebrity spying) I spotted some pak choi (bok choy) and had just seen a recipe on Fake Food Free that I wanted to try out (Ginger Soy Pak Choi) so our meal immediately took an Asian twist.

Then we were at the Oyster Boys stand and I over-heard one of the Oyster Boys describing Thai Mussels…um, done. Actually, we decided it over a few oysters. Um, yum.

So following his instructions, we combined coconut milk and veggies in a large pot and let the mussels cook away. Can we just take a second to discuss how amazing fresh lemongrass smells?! I almost didn’t want to throw it in the pot.

The thai mussels were incredible – the flavors so complex and spicy, creamy and fresh – all at the same time. And so easy! Mussels always strike me as complicated or a lot of work, but they really aren’t!

Thai Mussels

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Keywords: gluten-free Thai

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger (2 inch piece)
  • 5 inch piece of lemongrass, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to preference)
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup white wine
  • sriracha to taste
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced
  • 2 lbs fresh mussels
  • brown rice
  • fresh cilantro for garnish


Heat coconut oil in large pot.

Add garlic, ginger, lemongrass and saute for about 2 minutes.

Add coconut milk, wine and red pepper.

Bring to a boil and add mussels to pot.

Simmer until mussels open, about 10 minutes.

Serve over rice and veggies and garnish with cilantro.

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review: coconut water purity

I have a renewed obsession with coconut water.

But this isn’t any old coconut water. It’s Yoga Earth Coconut Water Purity which is a coconut water powder that comes in an individual serving making it portable without a need to refrigerate! (I don’t know about you but coconut water needs to be ice-cold!)

Mainly I drink it after a hot yoga class and I can tell how much it helps me re-hydrate. When I don’t drink coconut water, I’m really thirsty the rest of the day. When I drink a coconut water after class my thirst levels are normal. That is my scientific study. :)


  • that it is portable – I’ve been taking it to yoga to drink after class
  • it goes through airport security, so I was able to stay hydrated during holiday travel
  • the flavor – it is incredible!
  • that the strength can be altered depending on your preference


  • it was sold in stores! Right now, it can be purchased online or at various yoga studios

review: earth balance coconut spread

At a food show a few months ago, I tried- and loved – Earth Balance’s new Coconut Spread. It is now in stores, have you seen it?

I really enjoy coconut oil as a toast topping but this Coconut Spread is a great way to introduce coconut oil into your diet if you’ve been a little hesitant until now. It spreads just like butter and can be used in place of butter.


  • great coconut flavor
  • versitale: can use for baking, cooking, spreading and in place of butter
  • vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and non-GMO
  • all of the recipe ideas on their website (Coconut Spread Recipe Ideas)
  • comes packaged like other butter alternatives


  • I have no wishes…that is a first! The only thing that I’m unsure about is that I’m not sure there is a need to have both coconut oil and coconut spread…